Does every dispute have to go before the Court? Mediation and conciliation as alternative ways to resolve a dispute

Publication / 22.01.2024

The specter of becoming involved in a multi-year lawsuit and the associated costs often deter entrepreneurs from taking a case to court. The issue of maintaining relations with the opposing party is also not an indifferent one in this regard, especially when the parties have worked together over a long period of time and have the prospect of further cooperation.

In such a case, it is worth to consider an attempt to resolve the conflict through mediation or conciliation. What are they and how do they differ in terms of resolving a dispute amicably?

In both cases, the consent of both parties is required to initiate proceedings, as these proceedings are voluntary. They are also based on full confidentiality, and their advantages are certainly speed and relatively low cost.

In mediation, the parties hold discussions with the help of an impartial and neutral mediator, aiming to work out an agreement that satisfies both parties. A settlement reached before a mediator, once approved by a common court, has the legal force of a settlement reached before a court. If no settlement is reached between the parties, the case may be referred to court. The initiation of mediation has the effect of suspending the statute of limitations.

Conciliation is a mode in which the parties present their claim and positions most often in writing and through documents pertaining to the case. Positions may also be presented orally during conciliation meetings conducted with the participation of the conciliator, who, like the mediator, remains impartial and neutral. The conciliator, after examining the case, presents the parties with a proposal for resolving the conflict. The proposal does not bind the parties, so acceptance of the proposed solution – in whole or in part – depends solely on their will. Also in this case it is possible to conclude a settlement, which can be approved by the court.

The Law Firm has extensive experience in representing entrepreneurs in proceedings aimed at amicable resolution of disputes, which have ended with satisfactory settlements.